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little bit later. clint van zandt standing by, former fbi profiler, nbc news contributor. clint, you heard the information there, you heard the news conference, you were taking it all in, like all of us. based on what you heard there, what, if anything, what more have we been able to clean about this shooter? >> well, quite a bit. we continue to clear up this confusion, almost the equivalent of the fog of war that has existed for the past day and a half. we're now told that there is no formal report of any altercation that took place between the shooter and the three or four staff members or teachers that some reports said took place on thursday. we now know, officially, that there's no known connection between the mother in the school, although we labored under the impression all day yesterday that she was a kindergarten teacher. somehow, erroneous information passed on to us. we know from the medical examiner, who personally conduct
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ed seven of the autopsies, realizing there's many more victims, seven of the autopsies, all which he indicated were first graders, and that each of these -- each of these children suffered between 3 and 7 gunshot wounds each. now, this is with a 223. this is an assault rifle. some information has suggested that the victim's mother had access or had at least six weapons, two of which may have been 223 assault rifles. this appears, even though he left one in the car, he may well have taken one inside, plus the two 9 millimeter handguns. so if, in fact, he had the assault rifle, all of the wounds on these children, and realize, i can't imagine a more horrific scene than, number one, an assault rifle used on a human
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being, then number two, used on a child, close up, with multiple shots each. he went in to kill each of these children and to create as much murder and mayhem as this guy absolutely could. and i think we still have to find out from the medical examiner's office if all of the victims were killed by means of this assault rifle or if the two 9 millimeter pistols that so far, for the last 36 hours, we thought were used, were not used in this terrible mass murder scene. >> you know, clint, it seems as if every time they have one of these news conferences, we end up with more questions at the end of the news conference than we had at the beginning. thank you, sir. do stand by. we want to come back to you a little bit later. i want to bring in nbc news national investigative correspondent, michael isikoff, who is in front of the home of the gunman, adam lanza. mike's standing by for me.
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mike, one of the highlights from that news conference, but you correct me if i misunderstood what lieutenant vance said there. but at this point, it seems as if there's no known connection between the mother of the gunman and the school where this all transpired. is that correct. okay, i'm not sure if mike can hear me right now. michael isikoff, our nbc news national investigative correspondent, mike, you got me? >> reporter: i'm here, yes. >> okay, there's michael isikoff. he can hear me now. go ahead, mike. >> reporter: yeah. well, we do know they are looking for connections of that kind. but, of course, it was reported originally that she was a teacher at the school, that's clearly not the case. there has been some indication she may have been a volunteer or helped out at the school, but, obviously, that's not verified either. one thing we were told earlier is that investigators were looking to see whether there was
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any connection or association that adam lanza had with the school. but, again, and that might explain that reported altercation he had just a day before the shooting. but, again, that's clearly not established. one thing i can say that we've learned just in the last couple of hours is, and this does go with some of the developments out of that news conference, that investigators, federal agents are looking to see whether adam lanza was actually planning this attack for some time and practicing shoots. that they arrived at least one local shooting range, just late last night. federal agents did. looking for any evidence in recent months or this year that ryan lanza had been there. ryan lanza is the brother whose identity, that adam may have
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used, at some times. so looking to see whether they were planning this attack, practicing for it, for some time. >> mike, we heard earlier today that there was a family member down in north carolina who was describing the shooter's mother as perhaps a survivalist. someone who spoke, occasionally, of impending economic doom. are you hearing anything about that? >> well, not quite as dramatic as that, but we did talk to a friend of nancy lanza's, earlier today, who talked about how she was very much a gun enthusiast, a collector. she used to like to go to shooting ranges. in fact, she was described as passionate about her shooting, and even took her sons to shooting targets, shooting ranges to practice shooting
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there. so, that was a sort of another aspect of this that we'll clearly want to know more about. we do know that adam lanza had tried to get a long gun assault rifle at a sporting goods store in danberry, just on tuesday. the sale didn't go through, because he didn't want to go through the waiting period that connecticut law requires. but he was able to draw from the gun collection of his mother, nancy lanza, who of course he ended up shooting as well. >> earlier today, police said they had good evidence of a possible motive. we did not hear anymore about that evidence in that last news conference. at this point, any indication what that evidence might look like? perhaps a note? >> no, actually, all we know is that it came in response to a question from lester holt about e-mails or writings that adam lanza may have been left around
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or had been found by investigators and in response to that, lieutenant van, the spokesman for the state police, said there is a lot of good evidence that we've been able to collect. so we can infer that this might involve some writings or things that he's posted, somewhere online, but we don't know that for sure yet. >> michael isikoff, there are still so many, many, many questions that have yet to be answered here. so hopefully we get a little bit more information from police tomorrow. thank you, sir. do appreciate your work, as always, mike. >> okay. >> i want to go ahead and bring in nbc news white house correspondent, kristen welker, who's standing by at pennsylvania avenue. kristen, at this point, any indication of whether the president might be heading at some point to connecticut? >> well, craig, i think it's likely, whenever there is a national tragedy like the one that we have just seen in connecticut, he does go to the scene, meets with victims, meets with their families.
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you'll remember, after the shooting in tucson, arizona, he went, he spoke to the community there. after the shooting in aurora, colorado, he went and met with the folks who were suffering there. so i think it is likely we will see that. we're still waiting for guidance from the white house about a potential visit. but president obama has been getting updates on the situation. he was informed yesterday about an hour after the shooting happened, and was receiving regular updates throughout the day. of course, when he did address the nation, he was incredibly emotional and talked about the fact that he really has been watching these developments, not just as the president, but as a father as well. he got choked up. we saw him wipe away a number of tears. one of the other headlines that came out of his comments, craig, of course, is that he called for meaningful action, regardless of the politics. what specifically does that mean, we'll have to wait and see. we'll probably get more information about that in the coming days. but i can tell you that this president has made it clear that
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he supports a ban on assault weapons. that, of course, expired back in 2004. he has also called for better background checks and called for better preventative measures, to try to keep weapons out of the hands of people who are mentally unstable. we are in contact with the white house, trying to determine if and when he will visit, but i would not be surprised if he made that trip. craig? >> the president is starting to get hammered. michael bloomberg yesterday basically saying that the president's rhetoric on gun control not enough. then there was congresswoman mccarthy, carol mccarthy from new york, who said yesterday, quote, the gloves are off if president obama fails to act on the issue. is the white house saying anything at all about some of the backlash that it's starting to get? >> reporter: well, not so far. at this point, i think jay carney made the point he did not feel comfortable talking about policy this soon after the shooting. but this would undoubtedly be a
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big issue for this white house in the coming days and weeks. they will undoubtedly get a number of questions about this. and craig, i can tell you, yesterday evening, there was a vigil that formed outside of the white house. and a lot of the people who attended that vigil called for stiffer gun legislation. other people went online, hundreds of them, calling for stiffer gun legislation. so i think we will see a renewed effort on that front. the brady campaign, by the way, gave this administration an "f" for its handling of this issue, back in 2010. so there will be pressure on this president to actually take action, to follow through with his words, certainly from the people who supports different gun legislation, but it is a very divisive issue, as you know, craig. i don't have to tell you that. a lot of people who say it's not the laws, it's about enforcing the laws. but it does appear as though this debate has begun again, and we will hear a lot more about this in the coming days. >> kristen welker from 1600
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pennsylvania avenue, appreciate that. i want to bring in collin goddard now. he is the assistant director of federal legislation for the brady campaign to prevent gun violence. he is also a survivor of the virginia tech shooting. collin, i want to start where kristen sort of left off. the brady campaign giving this administration an "f" for its effort on preventing gun violence. what more should we be doing? what more should this president be doing? what more should the congress be doing? >> it's a number of things. it's not just one thing to do. there's not just one solution that's going to help save lives. there's a number of policies. and at this point, we really need to be looking at all of them. i mean, that's what -- you know, the sense we're getting from the outridge of the american people, that's kind of the sense we got from the president as well, who's had to give a number of these speeches already. and you can tell he's getting fed up with this, just as we all are. i think he fundamentally believes that we are better than this. that we deserve a country safer than this for everyone. and is really ready to put
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everything on the table. >> let's talk specifics here. because what we just found out in that news conference there, we know that the weapon that was used involves a magazine that's high capacity. there's been legislation introduced this session of congress that would limit the sale, restrict the sale. that's the glock. we don't know whether that glock was actually used, but he also had, these were weapons that he had in his position yesterday, adam lanza. precisely, legislatively, what do we need to be looking at? the gun show loophole, talk to me a little bit about all of those things. >> listen, we really need to base our decision making and our policy making on what's going to help save the most lives. we can't just do this based on the most recent previous mass shooting. where, unfortunately, we failed those young kids in connecticut. so we need to be thinking about this next group of kids, the 32 of us who are going to be murdered the tomorrow by somebody with a gun, and how can
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we prevent those tragedies? and that's dealing with things like requiring background checks on all gun sales. 40% of all gun sales in this country, in a given year, don't go through a background check. that's insane. when i learned that, i couldn't believe that. and i spoke out about it. and that's something that is just low-hanging fruit, common sense, across the board, supported by gun owners and nongun owners. that's something we need to get done. i think we also need to look at limiting the type of military weapons we sell to the general public. there is no place in our society for those weapons that we see used here in connecticut and what we just saw in colorado. i mean, those are weapons made for active war zones. those should not be used in our schools and on our streets and in our movie theaters. so, really, i think those are two specific ways, if you want specifics, that i think we could get a lot of traction in the coming days and weeks. >> much of the conversation at this point has centered on what we're talking about right now, restricting access to guns. have we talk ed enough about
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access to quality, mental health care in this country and identifying people that should be nowhere near guns? >> that's always a factor in these types of situations. you don't get people, happy people doing things like this, fundamentally. and we need to talk about it. unfortunately, it seems to be as taboo to talk about mental health policy as it does about gun policy. that's a paradigm that we have to fundamentally shift, culturally and politically in this country. that's a paradigm that will shift when the american people continues to get outrage, continues to speak out about this, continues to make their voice heard, to those around them and to those who represent them in congress as well. that's why we created, and encouraged people to go to it and engage everyone in this conversation. because the people who make decisions in our country need to hear from all of us and need to hear from us now. >> you were shot four times in the virginia tech massacre. as you have watched all of this play out over the past 30 hours, what's going on in your head?
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>> it's been a very long day and a half. you know, it was really tough in the beginning, as more information comes out, it somehow gets harder in some ways, but i true to put the negativity toward something positive. i cannot just remain in despair. i cannot just believe that there's nothing we can do. i know that there are things we can do. i know that there are decisions we can make that will help make it safer for all of us here. and i implore everyone who's watching to engage with us. please don't stop talking about this. don't let this fade from your memory. don't let your expressions of sympathy and condolences be it. if that's the case, we'll continue to have the same conversation the next time this happens. so unless we act between now and the next shooting, we cannot be surprised when the next one occurs. you know? it really needs all of us coming together to have a reasonable conversation about what we can do as a country, to make us all
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safer from these type of events. >> colin goddard, a survivor of the virginia tech shooting and a tremendous advocate as well for gun safety and sensible gun rights in this country. thank you, sir. as always, i appreciate your time. >> thanks, craig. as we learn more about the deadly elementary school shooting, increasing calls around this country for something to be done about guns. coming up, we'll talk to one of those voices, philadelphia mayor michael nutter will join me on the other side of this break.
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i was off. i mean, these are 20 people the week before christmas that just lost their joy, you know. how do you -- how do you live with that? >> how do you? the latest on the shooting here. we'll have some more specifics in just a few minutes. the grief and trauma is going to last for years and for some of these families, forever. the community of newtown is, it's doing its best, as we heard a few moments ago, it's doing its best to heal. but what can be done to help the young children and families involved in yesterday's horrific shootings? joining me now from washington, d.c., psychiatrist dr. josh weiner. dr. weiner, i want to start with something that we've been talking about off and on throughout the past couple of hours here. gun control, obviously that is going to be a discussion that is had in washington, d.c., hopefully over the next few weeks and months. but mental health in this
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country is not a topic that is discussed in public, at least, a great deal. how much of the conversation should be centered on that? >> to me, i think the conversation should actually start with focusing on the mental health aspect. if you want to fight crime and you want to fight the use of guns and violence, you need to start by mental health treatment. you need to improve the access to care that a lot of people have. you need to take a look at what's happening with some of the laws surrounding the difficulty with getting people who really need treatment, getting them the treatment is very difficult for somebody in this country to be mandated, once they're over the age of 18, to get mental health treatment. i see this in my practice. i see some people who are clearly suffering. they have the potential to be dangerous to others or to themselves, and it's a real challenge to get them hospitalized. i think you have to start with the mental health issues. >> doctor, another challenge is being able to discern the difference between someone who
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is simply quiet and shy and someone who is on the verge of doing something like this. how can folks who are watching at home, how do you know? or can you ever know, until it happens? >> well, craig, i think you make a good point. sometimes it is really difficult to tell. i think very few people ever anticipate that no matter how ill their loved one may be, that they're going to be the next adam lanza. it's very unfathomable to think that somebody that you care about could go on to do something like this. but i do think you have to look at the big picture. if somebody you care about is having writings that are very graphic and detailed, they have severe mental illness. they're abusing substances or you see that they're stockpiling weapons, obviously, you have to take note of that and you have to do something about it. >> there are reports that he may have had asperger's syndrome. there continues to be a conversation, at least in our news room, precisely about what asperger's syndrome is and what it is not. can you clear up some of the
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confusion? >> sure. asperger's is considered a mild form of autism. so it's on the autistic spectrum disorder. people with asperger's disorder are kids who have difficulty, primarily with social skills. they have a hard time reading social cues. they also may be very rigid in their thinking, they're very strict with routines. they get very upset if things don't go a different way. but i do not think that asperger's can really be the reason that we're attributing to him for doing something lake this. i think there's something more going on. yes, he may have asperger's, but i think he has to have other things going on too. he may have had asperger's and he may have gone on to develop schizophrenia. he's at the prime age of developing schizophrenia, which involves delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking, and that combination, particularly if it's in conjunction with substance abuse, that really could be a deadly cocktail there. >> you just said he's the prime
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age. what is the prime age for developing some of these issues? >> well, asperger's or autism spectrum disorders are typically diagnosed when kids are around 5 to 7 years old. of course, you're born with an autism spectrum disorder. this is not something you develop or catch. it's something that tends to be delayed in its diagnosis. for schizophrenia in men, the typical age is in the late teens to early 20s, so he's in the prime age for development of that. and people who are abusing substances, that tends to pick up in late adolescent years, in the early 20s as well. >> dr. weiner, thank you so much. josh weiner, psychologist, do appreciate your insight, sir. >> thank you. >> let's get some additional insight here. i would like to bring in philadelphia mayor, michael nutter, a democrat and one of the most prominent mayors in this country. following the shooting, the mayor issued a statement that read in part, and i'll give you an excerpt here. "as a country, we don't need
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more debate, no more excuses, t. the time for action is now." the brady campaign has given the obama administration an "f" for its handling of gun rights in this country. what say you, mayor? i know to the past, you've been a surrogate for the obama campaign. that has the president done enough? >> well, craig, first and foremost, on your program, let me express the deepest sympathies to all of the families, the 26 victims and certainly even the mother of the shooter, a victim herself. we feel very pained, as the president has expressed, but we feel it here in philadelphia, for the violence and death that takes place in our city and cities across the country. craig, i'm not going to get into the grading issue. all of us can do a lot more, and president obama -- a lot more on this issue. and president obama acknowledged in his very heartfelt remarks
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yesterday that we need significant action, we need it now. that we need to put the politics aside. that all of us, as elected officials, local, state, and federal, all have a responsibility to the people of america to take action. we've been through this, as again the president mentioned, a number of different times. i deal with it on a daily basis. and my fellow mayors, mayors like mayor bloomberg and mayor emanuel in chicago or mayor blake in baltimore, kasim reed in atlanta. all of us deal with an daily onslaught of violence. this is what this is about. it's about violence. >> but, mayor, what can we -- what more can we do? specifically, what do we need to be doing that we are not doing right now? >> there are a number of things that we can do. there is no reason, none, zero, for any civilian to have an assault weapon or an assault rifle or an assault-type weapon
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with huge clips. news reports seem to indicate that at least one of the weapons may have been a handgun with 17-round clip capacity and maybe the other 10, 11, or 12. there's only one purpose for these weapons. apparently, again, news accounts indicate that the semi-automatic rifle may have been the most deadly weapon. many of the children, again, news indicates two shots to them. that is virtually an execution-style activity. for what reason do civilians need this high-powered weaponry, in addition to the fact that it's reported that the individual had body armor. but for the fact that he apparently killed himself, the police officers who responded could have been victims themselves. there's death and carnage could have been that much worse. now, why does anyone need this kind of firepower as a civilian? law enforcement and the military are the only folks who need those kinds of weapons.
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so there should be a ban, there had been. unfortunately, it expired. congress has held numerous hearings, all kinds of speeches, all kinds of accusations in the benghazi matter. let's see what the congress does now. and certainly, the president will provide the kind of leadership that is necessary. but it is time. after tucson, after arizona, a member of congress was shot in the head, and there was no response on the issue of gun safety and gun regulations by the united states congress. so we don't need anymore speeches. we need action. we've tried, many of us at the local level and certainly mayor bloomberg and mayor menino, their partnership, mayors against illegal guns. these guns, it's reported, were legally purchased, but obviously, improperly used. clearly, should have been locked up. the gun is gentleman is reported to have maybe have had some
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mental health challenges. so why would you leave that kind of weaponry, that kind of firepower available to someone who may be struggling from a mental health standpoint? so all of us have a responsibility here, everyone needs to get involved, the american people have had enough. their voices need to be heard and congress needs to whip into session very quickly and take on these issues. the national background identification system is not up to speed. it's not updated. it doesn't have all the information available to make proper background checks. so there are a lot of things that all of us can do, and certainly the president articulated that he plans to lead on this issue. >> mayor michael nutter, democrat from philadelphia with some specifics about some things that we can do in this country. mayor, thank you for your time today. >> thank you, craig. tragic new details emerging just a short time ago about the elementary school shooting. the names of the children have been released as well as more information about precisely how
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c'mon, michael! get in the game! [ male announcer ] don't have the hops for hoops with your buddies? lost your appetite for romance? and your mood is on its way down. you might not just be getting older. you might have a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t. millions of men, forty-five or older, may have low t. so talk to your doctor about low t. hey, michael! [ male announcer ] and step out of the shadows. hi! how are you? [ male announcer ] learn more at [ laughs ] hey! here's the very latest on the tragic shooting in newtown, connecticut. all the victims have now been identified, their bodies removed from sandy hook elementary and taken to the medical examiner's office. the medical examiner says all of the deaths have been classified as homicides. all of the victims, all of them
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were shot more than once, some up to seven times. >> i've been at this for a third of a century. and it's, my sensibilities may not be the average man, but this probably is the worst i have seen. >> two of the confirmed victims, the school principal, dawn hochsprung, and also, 27-year-old teacher, victoria soto. we're learning that suspected gunman, 21-year-old adam lanza, forced his way into that school. he was not voluntarily let into the elementary school yesterday morning. authorities are also saying that lanza shot and killed his mother friday, drove her car to the school, then shot and killed 20 children and 6 adults before turning the gun on himself. the motive at this point is still not clear, but authorities do say that they have turned up some very good evidence that will hopely be able to paint a complete picture as to how and
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why this whole thing happened. meanwhile, memorial services and vigils continue to be held at churches and other places of worship today, as families continue to plan lots of funerals. and some chilling new developments at this hour in those tragic shootings. names and details about the victims are beginning to emerge. nbc's michelle franzen standing by in newtown, connecticut. michelle, the names have been released. i understand that all six of the adults who were killed were women and all of the children are between the ages of 6 and 7 years old. is that correct? >> reporter: yes, that is correct. most of them, we're told, in the first grade. and certainly, we are getting a little bit more details on some of the names, of course, and soon to be the faces of these teachers, as well as the students, whose lives were taken so violently, so abruptly that school morning, yesterday morning. as you mentioned, we heard the
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names that have come out, but we've also heard details about the shooting and many seasoned workers, the medical examiner, the officers, the first responders here, also needing to have, you know, assistance and have counseling during this time, to give you an idea of just what a situation unfolded in that elementary school. we also have been, throughout the community here today, and there is a big outpouring of emotion, as well as reaching out. starting the healing process. we've not only talked to families who were directly related and affected by this tragic shooting, but also we have talked to people who have ties to this community and felt it was important to come here, to drive here, 40 minutes, an hour away, to show their support, to leave flowers and to just be here. and there's a great heaviness in this community that obviously began yesterday, but it is building in this community, now
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that we've learned the names, now that we know in the coming days there will be the preparations and the funerals. we know that there are some very tough days ahead for the family in this community. and many who lived in this area, that we talked to, never thought that this would touch their town. >> quiet, solemn, you know, it's very depressing. a lot going on. you know, you feel for the community and all the people and the parents and the children. it's devastating. >> reporter: along with all that pain and grief, we're also finding some great stories of not only the heroism, but determination that this community says even though this has affected them, they are determined to carry forward, to move on, and to heal. and they're doing so with each other, but they also appreciate the outpouring that they are receiving from all around the country. craig? >> michelle, i know we're not
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going to hear from law enforcement officials again tonight. at least that's the indication we got during that last news conference. when we do hear from them tomorrow, what can we expect to learn? >> reporter: well, we'll probably learn some more dills about the shooter. the investigation there is still continuing. a lot of unanswered questions. and details that they're still trying to map out. they're trying to give those families the privacy, as we've mentioned before. they've assigneded ed ed a troo each family, and they will try to ensure that those members of those families, if they do not want to go out publicly or speak publicly, that they won't have. >> michelle franzen, thank you so much. the debate over gun control will surely take over in the next few days, months, at least, we hope so. police and politicians struggle to answer the question of how something like this could happen. and in an interview on "hardball with chris matthews," longtime gun control advocate,
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congresswoman carolyn mccarthy, whose husband was killed and son severely injured during the 1993 long island rail road mass shooting, had this to say. >> i came here to congress to reduce gun violence. and i said, i want to make sure that we go full forward. we have to do something about it. >> joining me now, the brain trust. msnbc contributor for "the nation," ari melber, political editor of, perry bacon jr. and michelle franzen is also in newtown, standing by for us as well. we'll check in with you in just a few moments, michelle. do stand by. let's talk about political will in washington, d.c. as it's been brought up several times over the past few hours. congresswoman, shot in the head, nothing happened. aurora, colorado, a lot of talk after that, nothing happened. we've got 20 dead kids in an
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elementary school. why do we believe that something different is going to happen this time around? >> i don't know that something different is going to happen but i do know that the public is capable of learning and breaking through thabootaboos. i think that seems to be changing a little bit, craig. >> we've talked about gun control a lot. in fact, every time this happens, we talk about gun control. i don't know if we spend as much time talking about the other part of this, which is access to mental health in this country, and being able to keep weapons out of the hands of people, who clearly have no business around firearms. how do we get over that stigma? >> i think you're going to see a change on that, particularly this time around. the children and the ages is going to make a difference, i think. remember the last shooting, after the colorado shooting, harry reid, the senate democratic leader said, we don't have time to talk about gun control right now, a pretty galling statement. that will not happen again. and this shooting is too unique, it's too -- just gripped a
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country in the way that it will be taken -- also, the mental health element that people are talking about, they haven't talked about that before that, it's something -- mental health is not a partisan issue the way gun control is, that's why it could be handled in a different way as well. yesterday we heard from the president of the united states, a man who has always chosen his words very carefully and is also known to be quite composed. i want to take a quick listen to part of what the president said yesterday. >> as a country, we have been through this too many times. whether it's an elementary school in newtown or a shopping mall in oregon or a temple in wisconsin or a movie theater in aurora or a street corner in chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children. and we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics. >> "meaningful action," those
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words. meaningful action. legislatively, what might we be looking at? are we talking, you know, renewing the 2004 ban on assault weapons? are we talking about limiting some of these -- what are we talking about, possibly? >> i think for president obama, the floor is at least renewing the assault weapons ban. that's very important, because from '94 to 2004, we had at least a law in this country that stamped the production of these most dangerous weapons, weapons that really are only used for massed more. they don't have another purpose. and when that law expired, we lost that stamping. we're way behind, even in da catching up, to have a system that regulates those kind of weapons. and we know that the president has softly supported that. his official position is he supports the renewable. when you're president, it's different than just being a member of the house. perry and i do reporting and you can call people up, and they'll tell you, i support this or that if it comes to a vote. well, the president actually has a big impact on whether or not things come to a vote.
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and we have a democratic senate. if the democrats are serious about this, and we will see when the time comes, they have to bring it to the floor. >> i know we talk about president obama a lot, but the republicans control the house of representatives. no gun control law will pass without them approving it. so we have to put some pressure and talk about what their views are either. i haven't heard any republican in the last few days say anything about gun control at all. where there have been democrats who have spoken a bit about it. >> rupert murdoch did come out. all right, gentleman, thank you so much, as always, for your insight. let's come back to you a little bit later. out of this elementary school tragedy, there are beginning to emerge some stories of heroism. the teachers who protected their students, despite the chaos that was erupting all around them. that's just one of the stories. we'll talk a little bit more about those after this. americans are always ready to work hard for a better future. since ameriprise financial was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times.
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flags flying at half-staff in honor of the victims of the newtown school shooting. the flags at the white house, all the military facilities, they'll all stay that way until sunset tuesday. i would like to bring in randi weingart weingarten, president of the american federation of teachers. a lot of folks talk about the heroism inside that school yesterday. i know that you are heading up to newtown tomorrow. what are you hearing about some of these teachers did to protect those students? >> so, look, you know, we've been in constant touch, this is our union that represents the teachers and the custodians and the school secretaries. so we've been in constant touch for the last 24 hours. and everyone is still in a state of shock. so what you are hearing, though, is just about a total selflessness. and i'm sure that these, that teachers and their families would not want to be called heroic. it feels so minimizing. what they did, though, is that
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in the wake of unspeakable terror, they kept their kids safe and they lunged at the gunman, as the principal did, and one teacher put her kids -- hid her kids in the bathroom so she would be the only one there when the shooter came in. this level of unbelievable heroism is just something that we should, in our morning, we should honor, but what teachers are trained to do, both in terms of their heart and their head, is that when kids are not safe, they do everything in their power to keep them safe and keep them calm. one teacher was reading to the kids to try to keep them calm. i have heard stories similar to this in lots of different -- terrible crisis situations, that's what teachers do. but the bottom line here is that we need to make sure that
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schools are safe and do something about gun control now. >> i want to talk to you about school safety for a second. here's the thing, after something like this, teachers, parents, kids, all of them understandably, are going to be scared. they're going to be very scared. what can we do now to help that? >> so, number one, in the last 24 hours, we put a lot of stuff on the aft website, so go to,, our website. it has lots of information about what to do, how to talk to kids in the aftermath of an unspeakable tragedy like this. we've been working with bereavement counselors and doctors like dr. david shonefeld, to help us put all of this together. but at the end of the day, we need to reassure our kids that the adults, their parents, their family members, the broader community will do everything in our power to keep them safe. one thing, though, if kids ask
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questions, we have to answer them directly. silence doesn't work. and we should encourage kids to ask questions. but the other thing we should, don't keep the tv on in front of kids, don't have them watching it all the time, over and over and over again. and part of the reason we're all going up tomorrow is, we have bereavement counselors and others to ensure that we can do whatever we can for monday. because this is an unspeakable tragedy that happened in newtown this week. >> and it affects every teacher, every parent -- >> every teacher, every parent. >> randi weingarten, thank you so much, president of the american federation of teachers. here's one thing we do know, based on the initial reporting. this could have been, believe it or not, it could have been far worse and probably would have been far worse had it not been for some of the heroism that you just talked about on behalf of the teachers and some folks in that school. a vigil at the white house for the victims of the connecticut shooting and a call for stricter gun laws in this country. will this be, will it be the
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turning point in the gun control debate? we'll get into that issue a little bit more, coming up. this is msnbc. this holiday, share everything.
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any minute now, we are expecting a news conference from connecticut governor dan malloy on the deadly shooting in his state. we will have that for you live when it happens. all of this comes after officials released the names of the victims of that rampage, including the 20 children gunned down in their classrooms. all the victims, 6 or 7 years old. all the adults are women. we'll take you back to newtown, connecticut, next. [ male announcer ] where do you turn for legal matters? at legalzoom, we've created a better place to handle your legal needs. maybe you have questions about incorporating
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